>> tonight, frontline presents... >> joaquín "el chapo" guzmán broke out of a maximum security prison... >> ...a portrait of mexico's infamous drug lord joaquín "el chapo" guzmán. >> a manhunt is underway to recapture joaquín guzmán... >> the man named "el chapo" is back on the run. >> years in the making, two filmmakers journey deep inside his sinaloa cartel. >> we have come to distrust everything we are told about the war on drugs. >> reaching his inner circle. >> they said that he's not going to speak with us right now. he said yes, but not now. >> and his family.
>> in search of a man no prison can hold. >> chapo guzmán, he is the subject of a manhunt that is without parallel in mexico right now. >> tonight on frontline, "drug lord: the legend of shorty." >> frontline is made possible by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. and by the corporation for public broadcasting. major support for frontline is provided by the john d. and catherine t. macarthur foundation, committed to building a more just, verdant and peaceful world. more information is available at macfound.org. additional support is provided by the park foundation dedicated to heightening public awareness of critical issues. the ford foundation, working with visionaries on the front lines of social change worldwide. at fordfoundation.org. the wyncote foundation.
empire in history. along with british filmmaker angus macqueen, i have been filming the drugs trade for years, and we have come to distrust everything we are told about the war on drugs. we believe the authorities knew exactly where el chapo was and could get him anytime they wanted. so in autumn 2012, we set out to prove this by seeing if two filmmakers could find the world's most wanted drug trafficker. (siren blaring) we began in chicago, the headquarters of el chapo sinaloa cartel in the u.s. the authorities have named him public enemy number one...
>> this is a man that most americans have never heard of. >> galdos: ...the same title they gave to al capone over 80 years ago. >> but we're using this title which we first gave to al capone in 1930. and this is the second time we've ever felt necessary to use it. in chicago alone, over 90% of the marijuana, cocaine, heroin methamphetamine, and other synthetic drugs that are being sold on the streets while we're standing here have come from the sinaloa cartel. >> galdos: el chapo ran the cartel like a terrorist group. he had a whole range of distributors in chicago operating as independent cells. so using old contacts, we found a family that have been bringing drugs from mexico for decades. and just like in the movies, our
man turned up in a private jet. >> when you have a chance, turn right, coming up. it's all about family. you know, we're still cowboys. take care of our own. well, basically, we all work for the same guy. most of us do. >> how has he managed to build up so much power? >> ask him that. (laughs) i don't know. because he's smart. a smart little (bleep). >> i'm just a logistics man. logistics, i think it through and find a way. and it comes...
the price comes from down there. we don't set the price here. it comes from down there. depending on how much they want and what bulk. it could be in the hundreds, it could be in tons, you know, depending. the price changes, but it's set from down there. that's it. it's just like working for a company, an organization a corporation. just the same thing, you know? you're subcontracted to perform a job and that's it, no questions asked. it's just like that. it takes a look in the eye and a handshake. (speaking spanish) you never know who you work for. maybe he doesn't even exist. he's just a myth. can't find him, right? the best police in the world can't find him. well, there you go.
>> we've hit a lot of, uh... >> you've hit most of the marks. >> i could hit this one. just... oh my god. getting into the sinaloa cartel, i never knew what i was gonna get into. the expanse and the tentacles, it's just a massive octopus just floating around the world to large hub areas-- chicago and then, you know, up into canada, near montreal. and then transiting, you know, via cargo container to hong kong, into the australia market. the australian market, you know, up to $200,000 a kilogram of cocaine. which is, you know, at a kilo that might cost $18,000 in l.a., but it makes it to australia look at the profit margin. it's just unbelievable. the power structure is constantly changing, but what doesn't change is chapo guzmán at the helm of this corporate empire. you know, somebody sitting in lebanon may not necessarily know the person that's in belize that's talking to the person in
sinaloa, but they're all complicit in the same conspiracy. and this is a major arrest down in mexico city where there was $200-plus million seized. but that was the wake-up call. >> $200 million? >> yes, a massive stack inside one condominium in mexico city just in the walls, in the closets, just unbelievable staggering amount of u.s. currency. all from the sale of chemicals for the production of methamphetamine. it's a corporate operation. it's no different than a home depot or a wal-mart, with a ceo and directors and financial staff. but these are corporate
infrastructures making millions on behalf of chapo guzmán. i mean, you don't end up in forbes magazine by not being you know, a smart entrepreneur. ♪ ♪ >> ♪ look at the dollar watch it roll, roll, roll straight down the freeway down to old mexico... ♪ >> galdos: we decided to follow the money back to mexico and el chapo. so we set off for the border to find the only man we knew had actually met him. >> ♪ these are chapo's towns where is he now? ♪
(dog barking) >> galdos: el flaco operates out of these violent back streets less than a mile from the border with california. i have witnessed some of the thousands of killings here victims of the battle to control the most lucrative smuggling routes in the world. a u.s. agent once told us that he's waiting for tijuana to cave in from all the tunnels el chapo has running underneath. el flaco has come to trust us. he agreed to let his friends in the cartel know that we were looking for el chapo. we ended up locked in a garage with the car and lots of methamphetamine.
♪ ♪ >> ♪ there are plenty of ways to carry what you want across the border ♪ submarines go underwater, planes will carry it through the air ♪ the best technique of all are not the catapults to texas ♪ or the freight trains to chicago but the tunnels everywhere ♪ you can smuggle along the road jalapeno tins to move it ♪ you can smuggle through the air, 747s, 30 tons ♪ you can smuggle through the sea ♪ we've got submarines to prove it but the tunnels underground, that's the genius guzmán. ♪ >> as you can see, the tunnel has lighting and it does have good airflow indicating that there's some type of ventilation system forcing air in from mexico. (horns honking)
few who have met him dare to speak even about his past. but the first man to have him in handcuffs was relaxed enough to invite us home. >> galdos: cardinal posadas was murdered at guadalajara airport in 1993. it is rumored he had information on the government's involvement with the drug cartels. el chapo was at the airport that day, but always denied having anything to do with the murder.
>> give me the legs. have you found it? what's it say? >> galdos: it says, "nobody dies while kept alive in the heart of somebody. you will always sleep in my heart." clearly it's been kept, you know, nicely. you need to pay for that. who's paying? >> so what exactly happened to her? >> galdos: she was found in the back of a car, and her body had been tortured, and... >> to punish el chapo? >> galdos: yeah. el chapo's rivals, the zetas cartel, believed the story of
>> ♪ the last time they saw him was by a gas station ♪ over the hills not far from his nation he's free. ♪ ♪ the king of green gold and white rocks that glisten ♪ has returned from his stay in a five-star prison ♪ a million or two, that's the price of freedom ♪ goes to show mouths stay shut just as long as you feed them. ♪ ♪ oh, the 19th of january, 2001 that was the year that el chapo guzmán got away. ♪ ♪ the ten years before he was down in culiacán ♪ a city of legends
that is stooped in tradition ♪ the most dangerous of seas, he's the biggest fish inside it ♪ anything hustlers need, chapo's there to provide it. ♪ >> galdos: culiacán is home to el chapo's sinaloa cartel supplying drugs to every corner of the world. here, you never know who works for whom, let alone who killed who and why. one lesson we've learnt over the years: trust no one. like many journalists and dignitaries, we were taken on the official tour to show how seriously the government takes the search for el chapo and the battle with his cartel. >> (speaking spanish)
and persistent pursuit ever. he is the subject of a manhunt that is without parallel in mexico right now. one of three fates awaits chapo guzmán. either he will be captured and brought to justice he will die in his attempt to evade that, or he will spend the rest of his days looking over his shoulder, attempting to avoid one of those two fates. we will not stop. this is a relentless pursuit and with a little luck, he will end up incarcerated and imprisoned for the rest of his life. >> galdos: the reality is el chapo and the sinaloa cartel
rule this town with the combination of money and fear. we have met governors who have later been accused of having lunch with el chapo, politicians and policemen who turn out to work for him. he was known to go out for the occasional evening meal. el chapo lived in culiacán before his arrest in 1993. our driver needed serious persuasion to take us to his old house. the state seized the property, but it remains deserted because no one dares to buy it. it took time to find someone who knew el chapo well.
but he was confident he could deliver our request to meet him. while we waited, we wanted to visit the mausoleum el chapo had built for his son edgar. but no one would take us there without permission. edgar was reported murdered in a supermarket car park by a rival cartel in 2008. when permission came, it was the first sign that el chapo must know that we were looking for him. now, if we didn't have permission to go to this town, we wouldn't be able to hang around the cemetery or anywhere near there.
we would definitely be picked up by armed people. >> and they know we're coming, do they? >> galdos: they certainly do. the guard made clear that we were the first outsiders to visit. and then we heard a completely different story of edgar's killing. apparently, it was a mistake. the same people of el chapo killed him by mistake in the mall in culiacán. and i think this mausoleum shows a little bit he must feel
a bit guilty for it. >> so he killed his own son? >> galdos: his people. >> galdos: as we finished filming, we were told el chapo's ex-wife, griselda, the boy's mother, had not given her permission. then, a call came that she had sent armed men, as well as the police, to stop us. we headed straight for the
airport. >> come on, tell me, what were we running away from? >> galdos: i think we are not the only people that speak english here. >> i know. >> galdos: and i would like to remind you that we're still in culiacán. >> and should we still be frightened? >> galdos: absolutely, yes. clearly, the death of edgar remains an open wound between el chapo and his ex-wife. >> galdos: el flaco was with el chapo at the time of edgar's killing in 2008.
of edgar. el chapo turned culiacán into a war zone. rival cartels began leaving bodies with messages, claiming that el chapo and the government were working together. it took another trip to culiacán and secret meetings with senior cartel bosses before we could take the next step towards el chapo. (phone ringing) >> galdos: but we were warned it was too dangerous to travel by land into the mountains with a gringo. that is why we were introduced
>> i assure you that chapo guzmán is not out flitting about in restaurants and living the high life. in fact, without getting into the details, we can tell you that he's much closer to the saddam hussein model, living in a spider hole and moving from place to place, because of the fear that he's gonna be captured. and that's the way it needs to stay until we get him. >> how do you know he's doing that? >> not gonna say. we know, but i can't tell you how we know. (propeller whirring) >> galdos: just as we were preparing to make contact again, a phone was found during a military raid. on it was film of el chapo interrogating a man, tied up with his trousers round his ankles.
yet every day, we worried that someone might get to him first. >> he is one of the most wanted criminals in the world. mexican drug lord joaquin guzmán, also known as el chapo. >> yeah, this guy's been on the loose since escaping from a maximum security prison back in 2001, reportedly by hiding in a laundry cart. now, there are reports saying that guzmán may have been killed in a gunfight in a remote section of guatemala. >> galdos: concerned i rang our contact. he laughed and invited us to lunch, not in culiacán, but in the mountains in la tuna at the guzmán home. no one we knew had ever been here. driving without the cartel's permission is suicide. but with it, even the police just wave us through.
>> what happened? >> galdos: nothing. basically they said that, um... basically, they said that he's not going to speak with us right now. he said yes, but not now. and it feels funny because we can certainly feel that he's around here, and they called him on a mobile phone. yeah, so he must be around. >> but hasn't he just been politely telling us to go away? >> galdos: no, because the style of these people is if they say no, it's "no, thank you very much." they don't play around like that. certainly, it's not in their interest that we come up here a lot. we can bring trouble with us. so, you know, that's what i believe. >> so he is somewhere between his birthplace and culiacán, that's what...? >> galdos: yeah, they say that
he spends most of his time around here and culiacán. >> that's weird, isn't it? it's the most obvious place for him to be. >> galdos: yeah, possibly the safest. over the following months, we were twice more invited up to la tuna. each time, el chapo decided not to go on camera. for all the disappointment, we had found him exactly where we had expected him to be. >> are we ready? >> galdos: yeah. so why hadn't the authorities, who were offering five million dollars for his capture?
>> frontline is made possible by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. and by the corporation for public broadcasting. major support for frontline is provided by the john d. and catherine t. macarthur foundation, committed to building a more just, verdant and peaceful world. more information is available at macfound.org. additional support is provided by the park foundation dedicated to heightening public awareness of critical issues. the ford foundation, working with visionaries on the front lines of social change worldwide. at fordfoundation.org. the wyncote foundation. and by the frontline journalism fund, with major support from jon and jo ann hagler.
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